Monthly Archives: July 2014

Rosie’s Chandelier and a Fabric Covered Shade DIY

A couple of months ago I said I would share some tutorials from Rosie’s room makeover, but then summer turned seriously cray, and I was cursed with a tiny bit (or bout?) of writer’s block, (I wrote about that last week), so I’m just getting around to it.   Anyway, the first project I’m going to share with you guys, is Rosie’s painted chandelier with DIY fabric covered shades.

DIY fabric lampshade chandelier after

The fixture was originally painted white and hung in the shabby chic bedroom when we bought the house.  This is the only picture I have of it:

DIY fabric lampshade chandelier before

Yeah, sorry about that.  Jeff took it from this room, (which later became the master bedroom. You can read about our room switch-a-roos here), outside where I spray painted it black, and then re-installed it in the guest room.  It worked in there for a couple of years, but when we started converting it into Rosie’s “big girl” room, the black was just too dark with her color scheme.

I didn’t want to ask Jeff to take it down again, (especially to paint it white), so I decided to lay down a drop cloth, hop up on the ladder and paint the thing right there.  Two coats of slightly off-white paint and 45 minutes of my time later, it disappeared against those light grey walls and looked just plain awful.  You walk in and are all like, “where’d the chandelier go, yo?”

I had picked up some dark grey paint from Home Depot, (one of those little $3.99 sample cups), that I was planning on using to paint Rosie’s doll basket, and I thought I might try it out on there.  Two coats and 45 more minutes of my time later, perfection.  Yes.

DIY fabric lampshade painting chandelier

Now on to the shade.  The original shade was thin plastic covered in off -white (or dirty?) fabric and beaded trim.  I tried to remove the fabric and salvage the shades, but they were kinda crappy anyway and they straight up cracked.  Doh.  So, I went to Lowes and picked up these   for $5 each.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many shade options, especially of the glamorous /princess/modern girly girl variety, so I decided to cover these in fabric myself.

It’s a little more difficult to cover a tapered shade than a drum shade, since the diameter changes from top to bottom, but hopefully this tutorial will get you through it.  The fabric is from Joann’s, and oops, I honestly forgot how much I bought.  Sorry.  If you’re math dumb like me, I’m sure you can take your shade in there, and they’d be happy to help you out.  I want to say it was around 1 1/2 yards.

Here are the supplies I used:

Approximately 1- 1/2 yards cotton fabric

Scissors

“Disappearing ink” fabric pen (in the sewing supply aisle at Joann Fabrics), chalk or light pencil

Spray adhesive & scrap cardboard or newspaper to catch the overspray

Hot glue gun

Satin ribbon and fabric glue (optional)

Okay, so the first step is to lay your fabric right side down.  Place the shade on an edge of the fabric and slowly roll it, keeping your marker at the edge of the shade and drawing a line with it’s path.  Make sure your shade makes it all the away around, like the “big wheel” on The Price is Right.  Man, I’ve always wanted to spin that thing.

DIY fabric lampshade step 1

I don’t know what the heck I was thinking using an ink pen the first time around.  I had to do it over with my disappearing ink and I forgot to take pictures.  Don’t do that.

Pick up the shade and place it back at your starting point, repeating the step for the other end of the shade. You should end up with a rainbow shape.

DIY fabric lampshade step 2b

 

DIY fabric lampshade step 2

Cut out the rainbow piece 1/2″ outside of your lines, so that you have enough fabric to fold over the top and bottom of the shade.  Now GO OUTSIDE with your spray adhesive, spray the shade and the wrong side of the fabric and wrap the fabric around the shade a little at a time, smoothing out air bubbles as you go.  The awesome thing about spray adhesive is that you can pull the fabric back off and try again and again if you screw it up.  Also, try to get the fabric seam right over the shade seam, so that you only have one “bump” showing.

DIY fabric lampshade step 3DIY fabric lampshade step 4

Fold the fabric seam under and use your hot glue gun to secure it down. Then, use your scissors to cut slits for the bulb cage-frame-contraption thingy, and put a thin line of hot glue on the inside of your extra fabric and fold it over the top and bottom.

DIY fabric lampshade step 5

The bottom seam looked a little sloppy, and since the shades are up in the air and you can clearly see inside of them, I attached some satin ribbon with fabric glue to give it a cleaner look.

DIY fabric lampshade finalRosie's big girl room 3

Ugh, I really wish I had  a “before” picture.  Have you refinished/repurposed something that came with your house when you bought it?  Any lamp or chandelier re-dos out there?  I covered the shade on Rosie’s IKEA lamp, but I’m really hating the color.  I’ll keep you posted when I re-do it.  Someday.

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Sweet and Delicious Summer Squash Bread

yellow summer squash zucchini bread

Does anyone else have an overabundance of yellow squash right now?  I mean, we have one yellow squash plant and one butternut growing in the front yard, and they have both taken over like they own the joint.  Rosie and I planted the seeds we got from Nimble Nitecap, (you can read about our spring planting routine here),  and those suckers seemed to come up overnight.   I’ve given some away to friends and neighbors, yet we still manage to have it every night of the week.  We’ve had nothin’ but sauteed squash, grilled squash, squash casserole, and squash kabobs up in here.  So Forrest, as you can see, I’ve been on the lookout for something different to do with this variety.

Squash bread garden

squash bread squash in basket

I found this great recipe on Pinterest from Field Notes from Fatherhood, and modified by adding some ingredients, including cranberries for a little tartness, and carrot, just because I thought adding another vegetable would justify consuming all that sugar.  Yes, I know it doesn’t work that way, but every little bit helps.  At least the addition makes it colorful, and everyone wants pretty bread, right?

squash bread ingredients

 

The recipe calls for three cups of grated squash, which came out to be about two medium/large fruit.  Speaking of the size of the squash, you don’t want to let these, or zucchini get ginormous before you harvest them. When they get huge, they tend to get all dried out and seedy inside, and you don’t want that, trust me.  Aaand speaking of huge, I bought the dried cranberries from Trader Joe’s, and they’re the plumpest guys I’ve ever seen.  When I poured them out of the bag, Rosie said, “Mmmm…little fatties.”  That’s what she calls big blueberries.  I don’t know where she got the saying from, but let me tell you, it was hilarious when she said it the first time and I still crack up every time.

squash bread muffins

The recipe makes enough for two loaves, but I only own one loaf pan, so I made six muffins with the rest of the batter.  For muffins, follow the same recipe, but only cook for 20-22 minutes, (toothpick in the middle check), instead of 50 minutes.  This bread was super easy to make, and turned out delicious.  Jeff and I have been enjoying it for breakfast this week, warmed with a little pat of butter.

Do you have any unique squash or zucchini recipes?  How’s your garden doing this year?  We have tons of tomatoes on the plants right now, but they’re all still green.  I can’t wait until they’re ready to go!

Summer Squash Bread Recipe (Makes 2 loaves)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil or whatever you like to use)
  • 3 cups grated summer squash
  • 1/2 – 1 cup dried cranberries (I only used a 1/2 cup because Jeff isn’t crazy about cranberries)
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions (adapted from “Quick Bread Recipe for Summer Squash”, Field Notes from Fatherhood)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and baking powder.

3. Beat eggs on medium with mixer.  Add the vanilla, sugars, and coconut oil, mixing well.  Add the grated zucchini and carrot to wet mixture.  Add dry ingredients, mixing on low just until blended.  Do not over mix.  Stir in nuts and cranberries by hand.  Your batter will be pretty thick.  Pour into 2 ungreased loaf pans, or muffin pans (greased or cups).

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  20-22 minutes for muffins.

Enjoy!

Blog Challenge: Making More Time and Clearing My Head

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been absent from the blog again.  I think about it all the time, several times a day even, but can never seem to set aside the time to work on it.  I love doing it, and get great enjoyment out of writing, creating, and sharing my ideas with you guys.  I’m also hopeful that blogging will lead to some other opportunities, and let’s be honest, it would be nice to actually make some money.  It’s totally not going to happen on one post a month though, and I know this.  I know other bloggers with more kids and less time than me, who somehow manage to pull out several posts a week.  Why am I always crying that there “aren’t enough hours” in the day?  How do I make time for this thang?

Another local blogger, (dahlhouseinteriors), posted a few weeks ago that she was challenging herself to one post a day for 30 days.  I commented on her blog that I would take on a similar, yet not so ambitious challenge, and post 2-3 times a week.  Well, that was like 3 weeks ago and I have not published so much as a photo.  I needed help, and it found me by way of the public library.  I was signing Rosie up for the summer reading program, when I passed by the reference section and found some books about writing.  I checked out a book with a funky, 80s style cover called, “Writing from Personal Experience” by Nancy Davidoff Kelton.

IMG_0714

So far, I’ve only made it through the first few chapters, but reading it has been the boost I’ve needed to make the time and get motivated.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned and tried out for the last week.  I’ve gotta:

1.  WAKE UP EARLIER.  Getting up an hour earlier and writing before what Kelton calls the “superego getting in the way.”  Forcing myself out of bed before Rosie, and prior to the demands that hijack my brain.  I’ve been setting my alarm for one hour before I usually get up, (which has been whenever Rosie shows up in my face and begs me to “go downstairs and turn on a show”), and after a few hits of the snooze, ends up being about 40 minutes before my usual time.  So far, it’s been great.  I sit and enjoy a cup of coffee by myself, open the computer, go straight to my blog bypassing Facebook (see #2), and start writing.  My head is clear and I’m typing like a maniac.  I wrote this entire post in about 30 minutes, when normally I would be dragging it on for days, writing a little at a time and never finishing.  I must admit, this step has been really difficult for me.  Momma loves to sleep.

How to make time blogging

 

2. CUT DOWN ON TV & FACEBOOK.

Kelton recommends cutting out the late night shows to fit in some writing.  I don’t watch a lot of TV (just Downton Abbey and a few Netflix shows), so I don’t think this is a huge issue for me. The major problem is Facebook.  This book was published in 1997, Mark Z.  was probably in diapers, and we weren’t wasting hours on the Internet yet, so there’s obviously no mention of it.  But I know it has, at least for me, taken the place of camping out in front of the television.

Every night before bed, I scroll through, burning 30 minutes or more.  The other night, I clicked on and read a poorly written article about a serial killer on the loose in Kentucky.  I did some further research, (wasting another 10 minutes), that led me to the origin of the article, a satirical website.  So there you go, I wasted 20+ minutes on this ridiculous, made up garbage.  Time I’ll never get back.

I haven’t totally quit Facebook, (I did that once for 9 months, and it was really hard), but I’ve limited myself to 10 minutes a day, bypassing photo albums of people I haven’t seen in 20 years and skipping most of the “news articles.”

3.  BE HONEST AND WRITE WHAT I WANT TO WRITE.

I’ve read two blog books and both stressed how important it is to be yourself, write from your heart, and not try to please everyone.  And for the most part, I feel like I’ve been doing that so far.  It’s only occasionally when I’m trying to come up with topics that I think, “no, that’s too personal, or nobody cares about that.”  I think sometimes worrying about what I should write gives me a case of the good ‘ole writer’s block, and I move on to something else, like the laundry.  Now I say, fuck it.  Yes, that’s right, in real life I say “fuck.”  A lot.  I’m not going to hold back and make this thing I enjoy so much, become less enjoyable because I’m not being myself.   I will write what I want to (tastefully, of course. I’m not going to start dropping “f” bombs all over the place now), and not conform to attract more “traffic.”

4.  CLEAN MY MIND AND BODY OF TOXINS.

Kelton talks about exercising everyday, and how she believes it is important to be “mentally, spiritually and aerobically fit.”  Our bodies need to be well, in order for our minds to work well.  I was already exercising a couple of days a week, but lately I’ve picked it up to 5-6 days a week and I’ve never felt better.  I definitely feel like I’m getting more accomplished in one day.  Also, for the last year I’ve been battling some pretty intense PMS symptoms and I’m certain that working out has caused them to almost completely diminish.  Jeff might tell you differently, however, I think I’m doing much better.

I’ve also cut way back on the alcohol consumption.  Not that I was boozing it up every night, but the older I get, the longer the hangover seems to last after only a couple of drinks.  I’m tired of having “fuzzy head” on Tuesday, after having cocktails on the previous Saturday night.

And finally, I’m not letting negative people or their lives consume my thoughts. I’m not going to waste any more energy on “THEIR LIVES.”  I took Kelton’s advice and wrote a letter to someone who was stressing me out and then tore it into a hundred pieces.  This exercise reeeally works.  Go ahead, try it.

5.  MAKE TIME FOR ME AND MY DREAMS.

I’m going to stop putting so much time and energy into household chores.  I don’t need to have very single load of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away in one day.   It’s not necessary for us to have a gourmet meal every night, and so what if the grass hasn’t been cut in two weeks?  I spend a lot of time with Rosie, which I immensely enjoy, but it’s fine for Jeff take her to do something fun every once in awhile without me.  I need to set aside some time for myself, and work on accomplishing these goals of building my blog and having a successful design career.

So, there it is.  Expect some serious blogging in the coming weeks.  What do you wish you had more time to do?   Are you happy with your job, or do you want to be doing something else?  I love, love, love and consider myself very lucky to be able to have this stay-at-home mom gig, but I think I can make room for the creative, design stuff in my life too.  Wish me luck!